History of the Snowshoe cat

Where does the Snowshoe cat come from? Like many unusual stories, its origins come from experimentation and chance. These can happen without a fixed plan or resulting from a freak of nature. This is the history of the Snowshoe breed. In the beginning it was a one-off experiment. A breeder in the USA tried to breed cats with Siamese markings and white feet – “snowshoes”. One day she succeeded, and there they were. Three kittens with point markings and snow-white feet!

But it took another twenty years until this “experiment” was officially recognised as a breed. Initially, there wasn’t great interest in this new breed. There were only a few cats registered as Snowshoes. Since then, cats with this distinctive face and white feet have a large fan community – even in Europe. Since 2004, the Snowshoe cat has also been recognised as a breed across the Atlantic and is extremely popular!

Appearance of a Snowshoe cat

What do Snowshoe cats look like? Like their Siamese cousins, Snowshoe cats are muscular, but not stocky. Nicely proportioned, they have a body that’s long but not too tall. Snowshoe cats stride confidently through their world on sturdy legs. Hind legs are slightly longer than the front ones, and their oval paws are all white. Their medium-long tail is somewhat thicker at the base and tapers to a point. With their wedge-shaped, masked face, pronounced chin and slanted, luminous eyes, Snowshoe cats look very distinctive, doesn’t they?

Size of a Snowshoe Cat

How big do Snowshoe cats grow? With a shoulder height of up to 25 cm and a body length of 30 to 35 cm, the Snowshoe cat is a medium-sized cat breed. In addition, the tail is on average 30 cm long. Snowshoe males are somewhat more muscular, broader and also a bit larger than females.

Weight of a Snowshoe Cat

Snowshoe females are a little more delicate and smaller than males and weigh about 2.5 to 5 kg when fully grown. Males are usually heavier than females due to their bigger build. You’ll probably see about 4 to 6.5 kg on the scales when you weigh a Snowshoe tom.

Fur of a Snowshoe Cat

Wer sich vom Fell her eine kurzhaarige Katze wünscht, aber schon immer die Siam-Färbung klasse fand, für dIf you are looking for a short-haired cat, and have always liked Siamese colours, the Snowshoe cat is the perfect choice! Created by crossing Bi-Colour American Shorthair and Siamese, the Snowshoe cat has a dense, smooth, relatively short coat, and hardly any undercoat, plus markings that are pretty similar to those of a Siamese.

Colour of the fur

The Snowshoe cat is similar in colour to a Siamese cat, with a few more white areas. Thanks to crossbreeding with Siamese, the classic colours of the Siamese coat can be found in all possible shades: Seal, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Red, Cream, Tabby Points. But the paws are always white.

Lenght of the fur

The length of a Snowshoe cat’s coat is limited, as it wears its coat quite short! Although indoor cats are only marginally affected by weather and light, they can lose undercoat and hair all year round. Looking after the fur of long-haired cats naturally occupies owners more than that of their short-haired cousins.

Markings of the fur

There are two different Snowshoe coat markings. Depending on how much white is present, people talk about “mitted” or “bi-colour”: In mitted Snowshoe cats, only one third of the body is white; in bi-colour Snowshoes, two thirds of the body may be white.

Eyes of a Snowshoe Cat

Snowshoe cats have beautiful blue eyes. Blue eye colouring is rather rare in cats as shades of yellow, green, orange or copper are more dominant. The Siamese and Point markings of the Snowshoe coat favour blue eyes. Like all “mask cats” they don’t develop pigmentation in the iris.

Special features of a Snowshoe cat

What’s special about a Snowshoe cat? As different as individual cats of this breed can be in terms of coat pattern and colour, they all have one thing in common. These are the bright white paws which give them their name – Snowshoe cat. The white colouring reaches a little higher on the hind paws than on the front paws.

Features of a Snowshoe Cat

What are the characteristics of a Snowshoe cat? The white part of a Snowshoe’s coat may only be around the legs, in which case the cat has white socks, so to speak. But the white coat pattern may also affect other parts of the body, for example the face. With a white “V” on its face, a Snowshoe looks like it is wearing a mask.

Character of a Snowshoe Cat

If you are looking for an active, sociable cat, then a Snowshoe is in good hands with you! Snowshoe cats have a very affectionate character and love the company of people and animals! If the chemistry is right, this breed gets along well with other cats and pets. The Snowshoe is a lively, playful cat that loves to chat with you, mewing and cooing. But like all kitties also needs set times to relax.

Price of a Snowshoe Cat

The price of a Snowshoe cat varies depending on supply and demand, but also on its origin. From a breeder, one can cost between 600 and 1,300 euros. A breeder should have comprehensive cat knowledge and be able to ensure appropriate cat care. Otherwise s/he is just a “backyard breeder”. And unfortunately there are many of them on the internet. How can you recognise a good breeder?

Breeding a Snowshoe Cat

Snowshoe cats have been bred in Europe since the end of the 1980s and in Germany since the 1990s. The largest European breeding association, the “Fédération Internationale Féline” (FIFé), a globally recognised umbrella organisation, certified the Snowshoe breed at the beginning of the 2000s. FIFé-certification recognises breeding in the classical Siamese colours. Different colour patterns are allowed and the markings should clearly stand out from the coat colour.

Things to know about keeping and caring for Snowshoe cats

A Snowshoe cat needs company and wants to be kept busy. You should therefore not keep her alone. A cat buddy of the same age to play and cuddle up with at home is perfect! However, a Snowshoe cat can also have outdoor access, in which case it will meet other cats outside. The short to medium-short coat of the Snowshoe cat is uncomplicated as far as grooming is concerned. Brush once a week, but clean eyes, ears and teeth regularly and prevent parasites.

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Snowshoe kittens

Every litter with Snowshoe kittens is a big surprise! Not only because they are so cute and irresistible, like all kittens, but also because the little ones are completely white when they are born! What colouring each individual kitten has genetically inherited will only become clear after a week or so. Then you will slowly but surely see what they will probably look like as adult cats…How exciting!

Typical diseases for a Snowshoe cat

What are typical diseases for a Snowshoe cat? As the Snowshoe is a relatively young breed, there are not many reports or studies about diseases that are particularly prevalent or frequent in the Snowshoe cat. However, as the Snowshoe is the result of a cross between Bi-Colour American Shorthair and Siamese, similar complaints to these breeds are conceivable.

Life expectancy of a Snowshoe cat

How old does a Snowshoe cat live? With a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years, this is quite a decent lifespan for Snowshoe cats. To calculate this in terms of a human lifetime, people often believe that one cat year corresponds to seven human years. Today, it’s assumed that a cat year corresponds to 15 human years. So a 16-year-old Snowshoe cat is already a proud 77 years old according to our human calendar. Hats off to how fit many cats are compared to us at this advanced age!